News & Notes – April 9, 2020

April 9, 2020

View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

From GFWC’s International President 

Dear Members,

I hope you are all well and stay so for a long time. I daily monitor the changes in Federal and State restrictions as well as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s and World Health Organization’s guidelines regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19. I urge all of you to adhere to these restrictions and guidelines and not take any unnecessary actions that might put you at risk of contracting the virus. These are times that none of us could have imagined. It does warm my heart to see the different ways members have remained safe but still expressed gratitude by letters, meals, and treats to all personnel who are in the forefront.

As of now the GFWC Annual Convention scheduled for June 27-July 1, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia is on the calendar. It is my hope that we will all be able to come together in Atlanta to celebrate the accomplishments of this Administration and welcome in the next Administration. If the Convention has to be cancelled, you will receive a full reimbursement from GFWC of moneys you have paid for your registration, meals, tours, etc. If the Convention has to be cancelled, you will not incur any charges/fees for your hotel registration, provided you cancel same with the hotel, 24 hours before your arrival date. If the Convention has to be cancelled, GFWC has no control over any airline or travel reimbursement, so you will have to negotiate with your airline or train company. I will continue to daily monitor changes in restrictions/guidelines and keep you abreast of future developments in plans for the GFWC Annual Convention.

No final decision will be made without careful consideration of all facts available. I have and always will put the welfare of our members as my top priority in any decision. Please continue to stay safe and offer prayers for those fighting this virus.

Much Love,

Mary Ellen Brock
GFWC International President

Headquarters Operations Update 

We hope that you’re all hunkering down during this crisis. As many of you are aware, the District of Columbia has closed all nonessential businesses and issued a Stay at Home Order. During some final work on the installation of our new fire and security systems, staff have been working to fulfill Member requests and orders as we close up our Headquarters offices.

Upon completion of the installation work, staff will have very limited access to Headquarters until the Stay at Home Order is lifted. We are continuing to support clubwomen through remote work and are available to provide assistance with the GFWC Member Portal, updates through News & Notes, and various additional services. However, services that require access to Headquarters will encounter delays. To receive assistance, please email

We appreciate your understanding and please know that we are here for you. Stay safe and be well!

Plant a Legacy for Your Club on April 24


We all know trees can live for years, but there are trees that live to be more than a thousand years old! In fact, Methuselah, a Bristlecone Pine from California’s White Mountains, is estimated to be 4,765 years old. Trees are one of the longest living organisms on earth, making them great symbols of your club’s legacy to leave behind.

COVID-19 may prevent us from joining and organizing larger-scale Arbor Day celebrations, but your club could still help reach the Administration’s goal of planting 20,000 trees by donating a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. Your club could also make arrangements with town or city officials to plant a tree once the pandemic has subsided.

There are many ways to celebrate on April 24 while still taking necessary precautions.
  • Connect with teachers in your area to raise students’ awareness of Arbor Day with an online lesson related to trees. Students could research the history of the day, write a poem about trees, or draw a picture of their favorite tree. Have your club sponsor a contest of their artwork using photos submitted by the students.
  • Read a book about trees and then donate it to a library, a school, a teacher, or a child.
  • Educate yourself and others about caring for trees, proper pruning, and planting times.
  • Bring Arbor Day inside with container gardening, herb plants, or a bonsai tree.
  • Make a plan for planting projects so that when your club can execute them, you’ll be all set to go!

Cares & Concerns

It is with great sadness that GFWC announces the passing of California Past State President, Paulette Meadows (2004–2006). All cards can be mailed to 2348 N. Arno Crescent, Upland, CA 91784. Please keep GFWC California in your thoughts.

GFWC also regrets to announce the passing of New Mexico Past Sate President (1984–1986), Shirley Garfield. All cards can be sent to Gellen  Atwood at 908 Springfield Ct, Durant, OK 74701. Please to keep Shirley’s family and friends in your thoughts.

GFWC Mississippi Valley Region Past President, Jean Hennings’ (2010–2012), husband Larry Hennings suddenly passed away on April 3. Please keep Jean and her family in your thoughts.

GFWC Mississippi Valley Region Past President, Gay Tarr (2004–2006) passed away on April 8. Please keep Gay’s family in your thoughts.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC Woman’s Club of Winter Haven (Florida). Read and get to know more about their two scholarship recipients. Comment to congratulate them on their hard work.

Have a success story to tell? Share your clubs volunteer story with us! Email

Your Legislative Blitz Checklist

Participate in our legislative blitz to celebrate GFWC’s Federation Day, April 24, 2020 to pass Miranda’s Law (S. 1787 and H.R. 2793) and the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act (S. 1831 and H.R. 3265). You can find information sheets on these bills in the Advocacy in Action section of our Legislative Action Center. Let’s bombard legislators with requests to make two of our Brand Initiative bills into law.

Support Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention Efforts Online 


April is both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, two observances that have typically inspired clubs to hold numerous commemorative events in their communities. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s not feasible now but there are still many virtual ways to show your support for these causes.

Check out these virtual events and resources throughout the month of April that you can access from the comfort and safety of your home:
  • Virtual Child Abuse Prevention Month events hosted by GFWC Partner Prevent Child Abuse America. There is a nationwide online pinwheel garden and a virtual town hall meeting with Dr. Melissa Merrick. School and workplace closings can increase stress in parents’ lives, resulting from loss of income due to lack of paid leave; an unexpected or irregular need for child care; and even food insecurity, when school meal programs become unavailable. Additionally, an unintended consequence of social distancing is isolation, which contradicts science proving that social and emotional connectedness and support are protective of mental health and positive discipline strategies. 
  • Veto Violence on Facebook, curated by the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention. 
  • A 30-day Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign hosted by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s social media posts for each day of April.
Violence is preventable! Together, we can still actively educate our communities this April.

Parliamentary Pointers: Counting Ballots and Reporting The Vote
by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

When counting paper ballots, Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, gives us helpful guidelines:

  • Ignore blank ballots.
  • Unintelligible ballots of ballots cast for an unidentifiable or ineligible candidate are illegal ballots.
  • If a ballot has votes for too many candidates, that ballot is counted as illegal.
  • Misspelling a name or word does not make a ballot illegal as long, as the meaning is clear.
  • If the meaning of a ballot is unclear or doubtful and that ballot can affect the result of the election, the ballot is immediately brought to the chair, who then submits it to the assembly for a decision on how it should be recorded. The tellers must be careful not to show how the decision of the assembly will affect the results.
  • If two or more ballots have been folded together, they are recorded as one illegal vote.
  • A blank ballot that is folded with one that is correctly filled in is ignored and the other ballot is counted.
  • If a ballot has several sections, each section is treated as a separate ballot. If one section is not filled out, or filled out incorrectly, the other sections can still be counted.
  • When the Chairman of Tellers reports, she reports the number of votes cast, the number necessary for election, the number each person or each section of the ballot received, and the number of illegal ballots. She does not report the number of delegates eligible to vote. That should have been previously reported by the Registration Chairman. She also does not announce the winners or the winner. That is done by the chair. The chair restates the figures just given by the Chairman of Tellers and then declares the winner.
  • The election results are entered into the minutes in their entirety.

Club Anniversaries 


GFWC Woman’s Club of Vinton (Virginia)
Junior Woman’s Club of Williamsburg (Virginia)
Woman’s Club of Springfield, Inc. (Virginia)
Cape Henry Woman’s Club (Virginia)

Kings Fork Woman’s Club (Virginia)
Woman’s Club of Williamsburg-GFWC (Virginia)

Herndon Woman’s Club (Virginia)

Junior Woman’s Club of Newport News (Virginia)

GFWC Canton Valley Woman’s Club (Montana)
GFWC Plains Woman’s Club (Montana)

GFWC Woman’s Club of Macclenny (Florida)
Hopkinton Women’s Club (Massachusetts)
Murray Women’s Civic Guild (Utah)

GFWC Big Timber Woman’s Club (Montana)
GFWC Forsyth Woman’s Club (Montana)

GFWC Bridger Woman’s Club (Montana)
Woman’s Club of Lakeside (California)
GFWC/Iowa Granger Women’s Club (Iowa)

GFWC Billings Woman’s Club (Montana)
GFWC Deer Lodge Woman’s Club (Montana)
GFWC Helena Woman’s Club (Montana)
GFWC Missoula Woman’s Club (Montana)

GFWC Woman’s Century Club (Idaho)

Bancroft History Assembly (Iowa)
Progressive Chautauqua Circle Study Club (Iowa)
Elzevir Reading Circle (Iowa)

Gold Pin Recipients

Joan Fleckenstein, Virginia Backhaus, Carmen Smallwood
GFWC Mokena Women’s Club (Illinois)

Rita Peck
GFWC Peoria-West Valley Woman’s Club (Arizona)

Fran Hopkins
Palatine Literary Society (New York)

Marilyn Bogener
GFWC TX Woman’s Club of Kingsville (Texas)

Anita Felts, June Dunlow
GFWC Sedley Woman’s Club (Virginia)

Julene McPhaul, Mary Jane Lane
The Woman’s Club of Raleigh (North Carolina)

Patricia Maerz
Suburban Woman’s Club of New Britian (Connecticut)

Joan Gangloff
Harwinton Woman’s Club (Connecticut)

Coke Cramer
Newtown Woman’s Club (Connecticut)

Anna Cecere
Windsor Woman’s Club (Connecticut)
Leslie Apostalon
East Hartford Woman’s Club (Connecticut)

Marketplace: Seven Grand Initiatives T-Shirt  

Our GFWC Clubs have been doing an awesome job helping to reach our Seven Grand Initiatives goals! Celebrate the projects that you have already completed in style with the GFWC Seven Grand Initiative T-Shirt. With its extra soft cotton and beautiful colors, this might just become your new favorite shirt! Get one today at the GFWC Marketplace

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